DEQ Hits Northland Furniture with $14,214 Fine
Mar 31,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

DEQ Issues $14,214 Penalty to Furniture Company in Bend For Hazardous Waste Management Violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a $14,214 penalty against Genesis Acquisition Company, Inc. of Portland, doing business as Northland Furniture Company, for hazardous waste management violations at its furniture manufacturing facility at 681 SE Glenwood in Bend.

The company generates hazardous waste that includes waste stain and stain wipes, spent lacquer thinner and cleanup residue from spills of stain and lacquer thinner. Mismanagement of hazardous waste may adversely affect air, soil and water quality, thereby increasing the risk to public health.

A DEQ inspection of the facility, conducted in August 2005 in response to a citizen complaint, documented violations of Oregon hazardous waste regulations, including failure to determine if waste was hazardous prior to disposal and illegal disposal of hazardous waste at a solid waste landfill.

The inspection also determined that Northland generates regulated quantities of hazardous waste. In any month that a company generates more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste, it must recycle or dispose of its hazardous waste at a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility and report its generator status and waste stream information to DEQ.

Northland failed to make complete hazardous waste determinations on spent lacquer thinner, waste stain, waste stain wipes, and spill cleanup wipes. Additionally, it disposed of spent lacquer thinner and sawdust mixed with spent lacquer thinner at Deschutes County’s Knott Landfill, a facility not permitted to accept hazardous waste.

A review of records maintained at the facility during the inspection discovered recordkeeping and monitoring violations, including failure to maintain a copy of the manifest signed by the designated facility to which an off-site delivery of hazardous waste was shipped on April 6, 2004. The facility failed to submit a manifest discrepancy or exception report for the shipment to DEQ or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Manifest tracking is a critical element in properly handling hazardous waste. Illegal disposal and lost shipments caused by failure to obtain the signature of receiving facilities can pose a threat to public health and the environment.

DEQ issued the company a notice for violations identified during the compliance inspection. The notice requested that Northland take specific actions to correct the violations. The company responded, stating that it had taken corrective action as requested.

Northland has requested and scheduled an informal meeting to discuss the penalty.